Akai Professional APC Mini MIDI Pad Controller
- Pads: 64 (8x8 grid) clip matrix with tri-color lighting
- Buttons: 8 x Clip Stop buttons, 8 x Scene Launch buttons, 1 x Shift button
- Other Controls: 8 x Faders + 1 x master fader
- Standalone Mode: No
- Power: USB powered
- Connectivity: USB
- Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10; Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or later
- Software Bundle: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, and Toolroom artist launch packs
- Dimensions: 9.4” x 7.9” x 1.0”
- Weight: 1.53 lbs
The APC Mini appeared on our recommended list for MIDI Pad Controllers in our first edition published in August 2017.
It then earned a spot as an honorable mention on the list due to its status as a gateway MIDI Pad Controller for use with DAWs like Ableton - it held that spot from April 2019 until May 2022.
In 2014 Akai released the APC Mini as the compact version of their APC40 MKII.
The 8x8 multi-color grid is used to launch clips and samples while providing visual feedback for live performance or remixing.
Tracks can be mixed with its dedicated channel faders, volume, pan, sends, and device control.
It's also compatible with most devices and is pre-mapped to Ableton Live once plugged into a computer.
The simple design allows for a more manageable learning curve for people new to Ableton Live.
While it automaps its buttons in Ableton, tweakers love the ability to easily reassign buttons and knobs.
If your DAW of choice is Ableton Live and feel it's a bit too early to spend more for more advanced controllers, the APC Mini is a great choice on a budget with its Ableton specific feature set. If you're looking to use other DAWs, it might take a little bit of mapping and tweaks under the hood.
Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best MIDI Pad Controllers.